Friday, September 26, 2014

Your Mental Sorbet: Unaired Pilot for The Munsters

The Munsters and the Universal Studios Tour turned 50 this year.
Here is another "Mental Sorbet" little spark of madness that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Unaired Test Pilot for The Munsters TV Show Entitled "My Fair Munster"

The first presentation was 16 minutes and in color (later cut to just over 13 minutes) and was used to pitch the series to CBS and its affiliates. It never aired, and the script was reused as the basis for the episode "My Fair Munster". The cast in order of appearance in the title sequence were: Joan Marshall as Phoebe (instead of Lily), Beverley Owen as Marilyn, Nate "Happy" Derman as Eddie, Al Lewis as Grandpa and Fred Gwynne as Herman. Although the same house exterior was used in the actual show, it was changed to make it look more gothic and "spooky". Changes included adding the tower deck and Marilyn's deck, a new coat of paint, and enlarging the living room. Although Grandpa had the same dungeon, Herman did not have padding in the pitch episode and was broad but thin. The most noticeable difference was his somber expression, compared to his comical silliness during the series. All characters, except Marilyn, had a blue/greentint to their skin. The biggest character difference was that Eddie was portrayed by Derman as a nasty brat.
The title sequence had light happy music (picked up from the Doris Day movie, The Thrill of it All) instead of the more hip surf theme that was to come. The episode is available on the complete first season of The Munsters DVDs. It was also decided that Joan Marshall looked too much like Morticia Addams and that Happy Derman was too nasty as Eddie, so both were replaced. On the basis of the first presentation, the new series, still not completely cast, was announced by CBS on February 18, 1964. A second black-and-white presentation was made with the new actors. In this version, Butch Patrick's Eddie appeared with a more "normal" look, although his hairstyle was later altered to include a widow's peak.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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